World Junior: Free day outing to Mahabalipuram

8/24/2011 – It is a 7th century port city with extraordinary architectural works, and the participants of the Sdat-RAMCO World Junior were taken there during the event in Chennai. Press officer R.R. Vasudevan has sent us a beautiful pictorial report which is meticulously captioned – a relief from the photo dumps that are usually thrown at chess fans. His report also contains a lot of videos. Take time and enjoy.

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The SDAT–RAMCO 50th World Junior &
29th Junior Girls Chess Championships 2011

This event took place from August 1st to 16th at the Hotel Vijay Park in Chennai, India. It was one of the strongest WJCC ever, featuring over 80 titled players among the juniors and girls. Top seeds in the Open Section were Russian GMs Maxim Matlakov (2632) and Sanan Sjugirov (2629), Spanish GM Ivan Salgado Lopez (2626) and fifteen more GMs. In the Girls' Section there were five WGMs led by Nazi Paikidze (2416, GEO), Anastasia Savina (2398, RUS), Deysi Cori (2376, PER), Olga Girya (2371, RUS) and Rout Padmini (2348, IND).

Free day trip to Mahabalipuram

Photo report by R.R. Vasudevan

Mahabalipuram was a Seventh Century port city of the South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas, around 60 km south of the city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu. The name "Mamallapuram" is believed to have been given after the Pallava king Narasimhavarman I, who took on the epithet Maha-malla (great wrestler), as the favourite sport of the Pallavas was wrestling. The English version is Mahabalipuram.


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The Pallavas kings were profound thinkers who pioneered the growth of architecture in South India. They ruled over from the Third Century until the end of the Ninth Century. The height of their rule was between 650 and 750 AD, a period called the Golden Age of the Pallavas.

It was during the rule of the pallavas that great poets, dramatists, artists, artisans, scholars and saints emerged. The pallavas were the forerunners of new styles both in art and architecture, and Mahabalipuram is the best place to witness their skill and talent.

Use the scroll bar to view the entire panoramic picture (courtesy of Ssriram for Wikipedia)

The richness in Mahabalipuram was not known to many, and these architectural treasures gained attention only by late 18th century. The rock-cut caves, amazing sculptures made from a single rock, temples of different structures, and bas-reliefs which are so artistic they spell-bind the viewer with their sheer creativity. It is believed by some that this area served as a school for young sculptors. The different sculptures, some half finished, may have been examples of different styles of architecture, probably demonstrated by instructors and practiced on by young students. The carving at Mahabalipuram must have required hundreds of highly skilled sculptors.

Mahabalipuram is referred as an ‘open-air museum’ and we owe our thanks to the great Pallava kings Narasimha Varma I and Rajasimha, for creation and preservation of these stylistic artefacts that one enjoys to the present day. The town has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


A distant view of the Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram

The Shore Temple, also known as Seven Pagodas, dates back to 8th Century (around 700-728 AD). Legend has it that six other temples once stood with the one that is there now. The above picture shows of the last of the remaining ones. The temple holds shrines of Lord Shiva and Vishnu.


V.R. Rajmohan (Velammal Group Chess Manager), Annett Bryan (mother of Cyprus player
Bryan-Vissi Mark), Kourkoulos-Arditis Stamatis (Greece) and Bryan-Vissi Mark (Cyprus)

The beauty of Mahabalipuram is not only due to architectural splendour, but also the natural elegance, thanks to the vast span of casuarina trees, the silvery sandy beach and the abounding of classical handcrafts. This historical and fascinating tourist spot is sure to remain etched in the hearts of all those visitors from the World Junior Chess Championships.


WFM Klaudia Kulon (Poland), Oleg Artemenko's mother, Tokhirjanova Hulkar (both Uzbekistan), R. Srivatsan (India)


International Arbiter R. Srivatsan (a good singer, who doubled up as the guide in the chess tourist bus), German and Swiss coach GM Zoltan Ribli, Niclas Huschenbeth (Germany), Gabriele Botta (Switzerland) and Diana Hannes (Germany)


Arbiter V.S. Sriman, WGM Keti Tsatsalasvili, IA R. Srivatsan, WIM Hoang Thi Nhu Y (Vietnam), Ani Krumova (Bulgaria), Deur Saric Zrinka (Croatia), S.K. Balaji (Tamil Nadu State Chess Association staffer).


S.K. Balaji with Ishitha Muralimohan and Diana Hannes (Germany)


WFM Klaudia Kulon relaxing with Uzbekistan star Tokhirjanova Hulkar


WIM Hoang Thi Nhu Y (Vietnam) loving Mahabalipuram


Ishitha Muralimohan (India), Deur Saric Zrinka (Croatia), Keti Tsatsalasvili (Georgia)

Norwegian Erle Andrea Marki Hansen with Ishitha Muralimohan, daughter of Mr K Muralimohan, Championship Director, WJCC2011, in front of a rock cut cave temple. Andrea Marki's dad, Harald R. Hansen, is an artist whom you can see in a WJCC 2011 interview link below

Ani Krumova (Bulgaria) and WIM Hoang Thi Nhu Y (Vietnam) imitating the famous meditation posture from Arjuna's penance, a brilliant bas-relief sculpture, show-casing the skill and the talent of the artists of 8th Century.

Canadian FM Thavandiran Shiyam, who's mother tongue is Tamil, the local language in Chennai, with his Indian friends S. Arul Kumar, S.K. Balaji (Tamil Nadu State Chess Association), V.R. Rajmohan and Ramasubramaniam. Not to forget, the lovely single-rock sculptured elephant, the hero with whom all wish to be photographed.

Hoàng Thí Nhu Ý (Vietnam), Klaudia Kulon (Poland), Tokhirjanova Hulkar (Uzbekistan), Keti Tsatsalasvili (Georgia). There is an interview with Keti in the YouTube links given below.

The popular beach front attracts all and sundry to its shores: Sriman, Ramasubramaniam, Chopon Babu, Ishitha Muralimohan, Harald Erle Andrea Marki Hansen (father and daughter), GM Zoltan Ribli on the far right.


A team of players from the West, facing the East, with Edes Zsofia of Slovakia in the yellow jersey

Diana Hannes (Germany) who thrilled Chennai audience wearing the traditional Indian saree during the last two rounds, along with Gabriele Botta (Switzerland) and Niclas Huschenbeth (Germany) recording their historic visit in the Indian soil.

Talking about sarees: here are Ecuador player Abigail Romero (who helped us translated winner Cori T Deysi's interviews to English) and Martinez Ayelen of Argentina trying out the Indian outfit.


Junior Girls Champion Cori Deysi of Peru in a colorful saree
with top seed Nazi Paikidze of Georgia in jeans (boo!)


Video reports and interviews


A video collage of the 2011 World Junior Chess Championship which was shown during the closing ceremony

Video interviews with...

About the author

R.R. Vasudevan, 47 years, is a post graduate in Political Science, International Arbiter, online chess coach, editor of the web sites Chathurangam & Chess and Gurukul in the past, currently a monthly columnist with India's premier chess magazine Chess Mate. Acted as Press Officer at the World Junior Chess Championships 2011 and in several other international tournaments in India over the last decade. Vasudevan has done live Internet commentary and coverage of International chess events and Super GM tournaments, including the knock-out FIDE World Chess Championship New Delhi/Tehran 2000, Sparkassen Dortmund Chess Meeting, Chess Classic Mainz, Biel Chess Festival, Chennai Open, Parsvnath Open, Commonwealth, Asian Team and Asian Junior Chess Championships. Has been a contributor to ChessBase for many International chess tournaments from India. Presently resides in Chennai, with his wife Priya and daughter Srinidhi.


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